I have been poring over the responses a number of you provided over this past week, when I extended an extended question about “Mommyblogging.” I’ve been intrigued, fascinated, educated. Also, I’ve felt more and more like I wanted to convey back to you some kind of summary, highlighting your thoughts, rather than go on myself.
Sadly, I’ve not had the time to do either your thoughts or mine near enough justice. At the very least, though, I want to provide a little overview of the most easily conveyed stuff. Until I can make that time, I encourage you to peruse the more open-ended answers to the questions here (password is “LDsurveyresults” sans quotation marks). Whenever you see that little icon that says “view,” basically click on it and discover the wealth of really rich insight folks shared. By the way, there were 60 responses. Not too shabby, maybe even statistically significant. Whatever that means.
First, the really easy-to-summarize stuff that was multiple choice. Nearly three-quarters of you who responded read blogs daily, a quarter do so even more frequently than that (jump on the RSS feed as soon as it updates).
Likewise, a vast majority feel that the blogs you read influence your sense of community (I phrased it: “as a woman (if you are one), as a progressive (if you are one), as a lesbian parent (if you are one). A little over half feel the blogs you read influence your sense of community “somewhat,” nearly a quarter are influenced “a good deal,” and over a tenth feel influenced “very much.” That was really interesting to find.
Interestingly, respondents were split fairly evenly between feeling as if you were familiar with the term “mommyblogging” and the community it refers to. More specifically, 48% said they had a “pretty good sense what online community it describes,” but another 46% said they did, “but it’s vague to me.”
Along these lines, while most (over 60%) said they were aware of debates within this community, they said they only did “vaguely.” And more than a third said “nope, not at all” were they aware of internal debates.
Another dead heat was between folks knowing that “mommyblogging” debates came up in past BlogHer conferences, and folks who chose “Huh? BlogHer conferences?”
The rest of everything was freestyle open-ended responses, and they were fascinating. And I’m going to have to convey them in another post, alas. But overall, people had widely diverging definitions of “radical” and whether or not — and if so, how — women writing on blogs about their parenthood was indeed “radical.”
There was a whole lot of conformation of the core, essential, originally defining value of this media: it enables people to feel not alone. The responses were a whole lot more articulate on that score, of course, and included all sorts of insightful observations which genuinely deserve their own discrete post.
Meanwhile, as I say, you can see for yourself.
Interestingly, not a one of the responses took up the issue of the increasing commercial appeal of this media sector. If this is one of the greatest threats to the “radicalism” of mommyblogging, it does not seem to be posing much of one in the neighborhood of the blogosphere that this blog or its readers inhabit. Which itself is quite telling. Blogospherically speaking, we may just be a fairly old-fashioned group of gals. Check back when lesbian motherhood itself is considered more commercially palatable. I’ll bet it’ll be a different story.